Dr. Sri Narayan and his team at USC have drastically improved the iron-air battery. When the battery was first conceived in the 1970s it lost up to 50% of the energy within it. Dr. Narayan has added bismuth to the batteries (which can also be found in Pepto-Bismol) to reduce this energy loss to only 4%!
The iron-air battery generates energy through the oxidation of iron plates -- a process similar to rusting. The batteries can store between eight and 24 hours of power.
Though solar and wind power generation are getting better and better, there remains a difficulty in storing this energy for use when it is not sunny or windy. The iron-air battery is a possible solution to this issue.
Dr. Narayan is still working on the battery to make it able to store even more energy. He also has a patent pending on the technology.
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